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Poll: 3 out of 4 Canadians welcome student marches for climate action

87% would allow their children to march

In the wake of several recent marches for climate action and with mass marches approaching on Friday (September 27), including one in Montreal with climate activist Greta Thunberg, the latest Abacus Data-Clean Energy Canada poll reveals:

  • Across the country, 74% say that marches of students in different parts of the world calling for more action on climate change are a good idea. Women (78%), parents (79%) and those under 30 (82%) are especially likely to feel this way. It bears noting that a healthy majority of people over age 60 (68%) also support these marches.
  • A narrow majority of voters on the right of the spectrum (55%) express support for the marches, while 76% of voters on the centre and 85% of voters on the left feel they are a good idea.
  • Belief in the value of these marches is the majority view in every region of the country as well, including Alberta (63%).

Asked if they were or are a parent how they would feel about their child participating in such a march, 87% say they would support their child marching, including 48% who say they would do so happily, and 39% with some hesitation. Just 13% would refuse to let their children march, including 20% in Alberta and 24% of voters on the right.

  • One in five people (20%) say the student marches make them a lot more inclined to support climate action, and another 54% say “quite a bit” or “somewhat” more likely to support climate action. Another 14% say they already fully support climate action. Just 12% say the marches have the opposite effect on their opinion, including 28% of voters on the right of the spectrum.


“Greta Thunberg has helped create a new and compelling form of advocacy on the climate issue by drawing sharp attention to intergenerational responsibility. A sense of moral obligation is felt by a very broad majority of Canadians, and many people feel more compelled to support urgent climate action because of the power of this youth movement.”

—Bruce Anderson, Chairman, Abacus Data

“It’s our kids who will be most impacted by climate change. And they are making it clear today how the leaders of tomorrow will look back on us. Canada has one of the largest carbon footprints of any country in the world. We must now act responsibly considering our direct contribution to climate change, our position of influence on the world stage, and our capacity to develop and deliver clean energy solutions.”

—Dan Woynillowicz, Policy Director, Clean Energy Canada

The survey was conducted online using a random sample of 1,929 panelists invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.23%, 19 times out of 20.  The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

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